TIRUPATHI: A 39-year-old mahout was severely injured when an elephant went berserk near Sri
Bhuvaraha Swamy temple at Tirumala on Sunday evening. The mahout suffered multiple injuries especially on his right leg and has been admitted at BIRRD hospital at Tirupati. He has been operated upon his fractured leg and is said to be out of danger.
Sources said that two elephants Lakshmi and Avanija were being taken from their shed to the main temple on Sunday evening for Sahasra Deepalankara Seva. They were climbing down the steps near Sri Bhuvaraha Swamy temple when mahout G Gangaiah (39) who was riding Lakshmi poked it to move faster. The onlookers said that the pachyderm got irked over it and went berserk. It picked up Gangaiah using its trunk before slamming him to the ground.
Later, the animal crushed his leg with its foot even as he fell unconscious. Another mahout who was riding Avanija brought both the animals under control and took them back to the shed. Gangaiah was
rushed to a hospital at Tirumala mand then shifted to the BIRRD hospital for operating upon his right leg. His condition is said to be out of danger and the doctors have planted metal rods and plates to save his fractured leg.
Sri Venkateswara Dairy Farm director R Harinath Reddy told Express that Lakshmi will be relieved out of its daily duties and would be kept under expert supervision until the elephant becomes normal.
The officials said that only Avanija was later taken to attend the puja at the temple.